A Note on Romans 4.20: Paul and the ordo sanctificationis

Daniel B. Wallace

In Romans 4, the apostle Paul gave a midrash on Genesis 15.6, showing that Abraham’s faith preceded his good deeds, and thus God’s declaration of Abraham as ‘righteous’ was not based on works. In this way, Abraham becomes the father of both Jews and Gentiles who place their faith in Christ.

In verse 20 Paul says, “And he did not waver in unbelief in the promise of God, but grew strong in faith, giving glory to God.” The last clause, which involves an adverbial participle (δοὺς δόξαν τῷ θεῷ), has been variously translated:

“giving glory to God” (KJV, ASV, NASB, NKJV, NET; see also NEG [“donnant gloire à Dieu”]; RVR [“dando gloria a Dios”]; Vulgate [“dans gloriam Deo”])

“and gave glory to God” (TNIV, NIV 2011, HCSB, REB, NJB, NABR; see also Lutherbibel 1984 [“und gab Gott die Ehre”] and SEGR [“il donna gloire à Dieu”])

“he gave glory to…

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